Hot Italian Panino


The second panino H and I assembled was by far the yummier of the two, and all thanks to a chance added ingredient. The flavours of this one were fantastic, to the point where the boyfriend happily wrote me upon having eaten his take-home panino half, “That second panino was sooooo good!!” and he usually doesn’t go out of his way to comment after the fact, which clearly speaks in favour of this hot pressed sandwich. It’s got some really fun textures going on and is downright delicious. Herein lie its secrets:

Hot Italian Panino

Ingredients (makes one sandwich):

  • 2 slices cut approx. 1-inch thick of rustic bread of your choice (french boule, rustic/country bread, a fairly dense ciabatta, etc- so long as it’s got few holes and a good crust)
  • 5-8 fresh basil leaves
  • 3-4 slices fresh mozarella or fresh Italian cheese (we used one which H picked up at the Whole Foods cheese counter of which we both immediately forgot the name, but it was fantastic. More consisent than fresh mozz but creamier and more flavourful)
  • 1 tsp – 1 tablespoon (depending on your preference) of pesto (I used the disastrous one I made specifically for this sandwich)
  • 2 slices deli turkey (my suggestion would be a smoked or oven-roasted one)
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper (jarred works fine)


  1. Heat panini press or grill pan
  2. Assemble cheese slices onto one of the bread slices
  3. Arrange basil leaves over cheese (see pictures below)
  4. Arrange turkey slices over the basil leaves
  5. Place red bell pepper over the turkey
  6. Spread pesto evenly onto other bread slice
  7. Put bread slices together carefully so as to not spill ingredients
  8. Place sandwich on panini press and pull down the top; or, place on grill pan and place pressing tool on top; or, place on grill pan and if you do not have a panini press, put a heavy weight on top
  9. Grill/press for 4-5 minutes, then if browned to your preference, flip over and grill for another 4-5 minutes
  10. Remove from heat, slice in half at a slight diagonal, and dig in :)

It’s incredibly quick and simple, as if you have ready-made ingredients the onl thing you really have to do is cut the cheese… and yet, for under 10 minutes of work and a bit more for prep time and cleaning, you have a gourmet lunch/dinner that’s portable, delicious, and features a wide variety of textures. Try it out and vary the ingredients! You could add tomato (but be careful, they may eject juice), eggplant, zucchini, you name it.

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One thought on “Hot Italian Panino

  1. I disagree with the first statement!! I liked the brie and pear panini much better….although both were delicious. I think its really a matter of tastes


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